One sign that the on-demand applications sector is thriving is when companies start to prosper on the back of it. One such company is Nsite, which last week announced a new $4 million slug of funding from its existing investors.
Nsite helps automate the decision-making and approval processes that dog sales and customer services operations, supplementing on-demand CRM and professional services applications with its own on-demand workflow. Although it's theoretically possible to build workflow automation using the native capabilities of products like salesforce.com, Siebel CRM OnDemand, Intacct and Lawdex, Nsite's tools make it far easier to get started, at the same time as providing greater depth of functionality, enabling real-time tracking, audit trails and continuous improvement of process automation.
What I like best about this company is that, whereas most software tries to design human beings out of process integration, Nsite specifically sets out to automate and enhance the processes that require human intervention, and it does it in a way that empowers business managers to continually adjust and improve those processes. Primarily targeted at mid-sized businesses, Nsite pricing starts at $40 per user per month.
Along with its new funding, Nsite appointed some new faces to its advisory board, including one that's very well known in the software-as-services world. Dr Timothy Chou led Oracle On Demand from 2000 until late last year, overseeing its expansion to become a significant and strategic part of Oracle's business. He is also the author of The End of Software, in which, drawing on his experiences at Oracle On Demand and from the examples of on-demand providers, he predicts the inevitability of a model that "ultimately reshapes the fundamental economic model for software companies."
It must be said, however, that the existence of Nsite is of course an illustration that the title of Dr Chou's book is a complete and total misnomer. The on-demand model patently creates limitless opportunities for the creation of new software to automate every nook and cranny of how businesses operate and interact, and can only result in the creation of ever more software, rather than an end to it.